32 weeks, names & our first 2 weeks in the NICU

IMG_0382We’ve reached 32 weeks!  The grrls are doing well and growing every day.  They are still preemies and have some issues and minor scares but we are getting through each day as best we can.  I get to take care of their diapers and help the nurses with little things and every day I take out one or both babies and we have some skin-to-skin kangaroo care.

♥♥  I call it “snuggly time” and I love it.  ♥♥

I want to do another positive post to mark our 32 week milestone.  It’s not where I had hoped I would be, it’s not what I expected.  I’ll write more about a day in the life for a mom with babies in the NICU next week, but today I celebrate.  I celebrate life and love and happiness.  There are many frets and worries, handwringing and quiet tears shed in the night but they are getting bigger and stronger every day.  With each day the heavy burden on my heart lifts just a little.  Each little one opens her eyes and gazes at Mommy, sometimes I get a delightful gummy grin.  I am overcome.

Their growth is good and steady.  Wiggles now weighs 3 lbs 12 oz and Pip weighs 3 lbs 14 oz (they are well past their birthweights of 3 lbs 3 oz and 3 lbs 5 oz).  I think they may hit 4 pounds tonight or tomorrow.  YAY!  They are fed mommy’s milk with a little fortifier added for extra calories, vitamins and protein (this is typical for preemies).  They aren’t on any type of formula.  I have surpassed them with my pumping 7-8 times per day and the freezer in our NICU fridge is getting pretty full.  Each one takes about 10 oz of milk per day, so I need to produce at least 20 oz/day.  I am typically doing between 4-6 ounces each time I pump and I pump 7-8 times per day.  As their weight increases, the milk needs will increase.  I am doing my best to stay on target.

Our biggest problem and concern is with Apnea of Prematurity.  Basically they have occasions when they forget to breathe or are breathing so shallow that it causes their oxygen levels to fall.  They have little probes on their chests and a special NICU pulse oximeter on a foot to keep track of their heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels.  If anything gets out of the desired range, little alarms will sound in the room, their NICU nurse is paged and an emergency light illuminates outside their room.  Our girls have their own room in the NICU and their own nurse.  Sometimes we share a nurse with 1 other baby, but the ratio is typically 2:1 or 3:1.  I stay here most of the day and on some nights when they are having a day with lots of episodes of apnea.  They will eventually grow out of the apnea as their brains and nervous systems finish developing.  In the meantime, it is really hard to leave them alone, even though they have excellent care.  Most of their episodes of apnea they recover within seconds on their own, other times a nurse comes to stimulate them a bit by changing their position, rubbing their back or tummy or feet.  We have had to put them on a nasal cannula with 3-4 liters of high-flow room air to help reduce the number of episodes per day.  It has dramatically reduced the number and severity of the apnea episodes.  Luckily room air is good enough and they do not require supplemental oxygen.  I will be a very happy person in about 3-4 more weeks when brain development at 34-36 weeks typically eliminates this problem.

Having fun with “The Name Game”

We had a lot of fun coming up with names for our kiddos.  We made a big list and since many of the names were unusual, we sent out the list to many friends and family to get feedback.  It helped to eliminate a few names we were on the fence about and we had a great time discussing with a few folks.  In the end we pared the list down and picked our favorites.  Then we called our parents and discussed which one of the twins should get each name.  Celeste looks like MrBeep, she has his nose and eyes, so we decided if he was a girl Celeste would fit him well.  Vivien looks like me in my baby pictures and has my nose and eyes.  I think that I could look like a Vivien.  For pet names, we will call them CeCe (pronounced see-see) and Vivie. 


The girl's name Celeste \ce-les-te, is pronounced seh-LEST. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "heavenly".

The girl's name Astrid \a-st-rid, is pronounced AS-trid. It is of Old Norse origin, and its meaning is "fair, beautiful goddess" from the elements 'as', which relates to the Aesir [a group of gods formed around Odin] and 'trud', 'fair' or 'beautiful'. It was the name of one of the Valkyries.


The girl's name Vivien \v(i)-vien\, is pronounced VIV-ee-en. It is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "lively". An ancient personal name. The name has been common only since the 19th century. In Malory's "Morte d'Arthur", Vivien was the Lady of the Lake and also the enchantress of Merlin.

The girl's name Fay \fay\, is pronounced fay. Fay is derived from Middle English faie meaning "fairy", such as in the popular Arthurian figure of Morgan Le Fay. Faye is also the English form of the old French Foy, meaning "faith" (from the Latin 'fides').

Thanks to those who have been checking up on me and thank you so much for the congrats and well wishes.  I have been trying my best to establish some type of schedule and get back to reading and writing blog posts.  I purchased this hands-free pumping bra.  I think this will give me back a few extra hours a day and I really like that.  I’ve been sneaking a peak at various blogs from time to time on my phone or laptop when I get a few minutes.  I hope to be back to commenting very soon too.  I miss you all and wish you well.

24 comments on "32 weeks, names & our first 2 weeks in the NICU"

K on May 2, 2010 at 6:52 PM said...

Thank you for sharing an update and for the lovely pictures- their names are beautiful and I love how thoughtfully you chose them.

Sending warm vibes to you and your beautiful family that things progress wel andt hey're home in no time!!

sprogblogger on May 2, 2010 at 7:03 PM said...

They are beautiful- and you look wonderful too! Gorgeous names! SO glad to hear they're doing so well. May they continue to improve quickly so you can get them home where they belong! Thinking of you and your whole family.

Kate on May 2, 2010 at 7:15 PM said...

So beautiful, and such strong gorgeous names.
I'm totally jealous of your pumping ouput...

Lucky Jones on May 2, 2010 at 8:20 PM said...

Great update!! Celeste and Vivien are absolutely beautiful! And I too am super jealous of your pumping abilities, my babies have to have formula because mommy here can't produce enough...

So happy they are doing well!

the infertile breeder on May 2, 2010 at 8:31 PM said...

My heart goes out to you - it must be so challenging. So happy to hear that the girls are doing well and that every day gets you closer to taking your beautiful babies home. Keep up the super work!

FET Accompli on May 2, 2010 at 8:50 PM said...

Oh beautiful names for beautiful girls! Your description of the NICU brought me back to our own NICU days - the various alarms beeping all the time (usually false alarms), the kangaroo care, the nurses... These were tough times. But they were also the times when we got to know our babies, and we learned so much from the nurses. Sending hugs.

meinsideout on May 3, 2010 at 3:31 AM said...

SO good to hear from you. Their names are beautiful - and so are they - and it sounds like you are hanging in there.

As for pumping - the hands free bra is essential - you go girl. In the beginning, I pumped up to 8 or 9 times a day - as many times as they ate - now I pump 6-7 times per day 20 minutes a pump at this point - Sugar and Spice are eating about 30 ounces per day at this point - so if you can continue to get your supply up, go for it. (I am pumping exclusively pretty much)


Susan on May 3, 2010 at 5:31 AM said...

The are perfect. And I absolutely love the names.

Hoping you get to bring them home soon!


Amanda on May 3, 2010 at 6:10 AM said...

You all look wonderful!

Their names are absolutely beautiful!

WiseGuy on May 3, 2010 at 7:15 AM said...

I lurrrrrve the names you picked for the girls...and I am not being diplomatic at all...they are really wonderful!

I hope that the girls turn-out fabulous on all milestones...wishing them lots of love and luck!

Pie on May 3, 2010 at 7:37 AM said...

Celeste and Vivien are beautiful, and I'm so glad to hear they are gaining weight and eating well. They look so pink, always a great sign!!

You look great too, all aglow as the momma! Congrats!

G$ on May 3, 2010 at 12:03 PM said...

So beautiful! I love their names and am so glad they are fighting the good fight :)

Hang in there mom!

kimbosue on May 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM said...

Don't you worry your pretty little head about blogging or commenting or any of that stuff. You just stay snuggly with those angels and get them growing!

The names are beautiful and you look gorgeous! And so happy!

Sunny on May 3, 2010 at 12:59 PM said...

It makes my day to hear from you! I'm sure your life is very full right now (not to mention emotional) and I appreciate you taking the time to keep us posted -- we're all praying for you.

The names are absolutely gorgeous!!

JJ on May 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM said...

Beautiful, beautiful girls--and love their names! I know you all thought a lot about them--its so special to know they are doing well--and you too!

mekate on May 3, 2010 at 2:40 PM said...

Oh look at all of you beautiful grrls!
thank you (THANK YOU) for the update, so glad to hear how things are going, and glad that they are mostly well-- I hate the apnea and am so glad that the cannulas have helped decrease the episodes AND that they will grow out of this scary stuff.

I love the names you chose, and yes,
you could absolutely be a Vivien.

Thinking of YOU dear Traci- hoping you are hanging in there two.
Seeing you with those little ones tucked in all snuggly makes my heart melt. How wonderful.

love to you,

Barefoot on May 4, 2010 at 7:45 PM said...

Your girls are so beautiful, and I LOVE the names. I'm glad to hear that they are growing, but sorry to hear about the apnea scares. That alarm is the worst sound in the world, IMHO.

Thinking of you and sending lots of thoughts your way for continued good stuff. And good work on the pumping -- your supply sounds great!

Beautiful Mess on May 5, 2010 at 8:56 PM said...

Look at you and your BEAUTIFUL babies! So precious! I love their names and the meanings are lovely.

Don't worry about commenting or reading, you have your arms full with your sweet girls. Take care of them and yourself.

K on May 9, 2010 at 9:48 AM said...

Just catching up on your blog and info. Oh, how I can relate. Take care of yourself. So happy your little ones are doing well. Beautiful names, BTW. I'm sure we'll have lots of stories to "share" one of these days.
:) K.

Rotten on May 11, 2010 at 7:24 PM said...

Vivien Fay is going to be a movie star... you can just tell. :) And Celeste Astrid is going to be the sensitive dreamer... the one who lives by the beat of her own drum. What a perfect combination of energies in such gorgeous girls. Here's to hoping they get home soon. Big hugs!

mekate on May 15, 2010 at 7:33 AM said...

Love love love to you sweet Traci.
I've been thinking about you lots and finally got off my duff to write and say so.


jill on May 15, 2010 at 9:18 PM said...

I love their names! They are beautiful! I think of you and your grrls often and I hope you all continue to do well and overcome the preemie challenges quickly.

One Who Understands on May 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM said...

Sorry I am so behind on commenting! I love their names. Beautiful! You look so happy snuggling them. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you. I hope they continue to thrive and grow! Sending love and happy thoughts to you and them.

WiseGuy on May 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM said...

Hey BusyMom,

Where are you and how are you? How are the babies doing?


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